Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Brazil v Costa Rica preview

FIFA World Cup 2018: FPJ's dream XI predictions for Brazil vs Costa Rica Brazil vs Costa Rica : Neymar starts as Tite keeps faith in stars
Michele Schwartz | 23 June, 2018, 14:48

"I returned the ball because it was not this ball that was going to win us the game".

Brazil was preparing for a second-half penalty when the referee reviewed video footage of Neymar's fall and amended the call in what was the first major boon Costa Rica has experienced thanks to the new video review feature of this year's tournament.

Thiago Silva admits he was "saddened" by Neymar's outburst at him during Brazil's 2-0 World Cup win over Costa Rica on Friday.

"Things were never easy in my life, so why would they be now?"

Fortunately, the Brazilians' were again rewarded in the last minute of added time when Selecao superstar Neymar got the second goal with a tap in.

Costa Rica have none and crashed out of the competition.

Brazil went into halftime with the boos and whistles of their own fans ringing in their ears but emerged with a renewed sense of goal, with Jesus heading against the bar four minutes after the restart and Coutinho sending the follow-up effort narrowly wide.

Navas - a growing thorn in Brazil's side - pulled off even greater heroics to deny Neymar with a fingertip save soon after, while another Coutinho strike was directed straight at the goalkeeper.

Iceland, roared on by thousands of fans from the tiny country, kept pushing and were awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when referee Matt Conger used the Video Assisted Referee system to confirm that striker Alfred Finnbogason had been fouled by Tyronne Ebuehi.

That incident threatened to dominate the headlines until Coutinho prodded Brazil in front in the 91st minute, getting on the end of a Roberto Firmino nod down and a helpful touch from Jesus.

Brazil stars Neymar, left, Philippe Coutinho and Marcelo celebrate.

- Costa Rica had just three shots in this match, with all of those coming in the opening 15 minutes.

Costa Rica's only previous World Cup victory against South American opposition came in the 2014 tournament (3-1 vs Uruguay).

- Neymar has scored 56 goals in 87 matches for Brazil - only Pele (77) and Ronaldo (62) have scored more.

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